Film Friday Reflection: La La Land

There is a telling moment early on in this film when Mia, working in a coffee shop, serves coffee to a famous movie star. We don’t know who it is because we barely set eyes on them. Mostly we see their feet, and Mia’s reaction. And this is the point. Mia is all wide eyes and jaw-on-the-floor. This is a clue to what the future might hold. This is Mia’s longing, to be a movie star, glamorous and successful. This movie star is not a person, not to Mia anyway, she is merely a famous name who can get free coffee. She has ceased to be a cherished individual. When we rate our worth on achievements and popularity something strange happens, we turn into a boat on a choppy sea, rising and falling with the flow of the tide, up one minute when we sense success or popularity, down the next when things go wrong. It’s odd too that ten people may encourage us, but if one says something detrimental it’s that one negative that we remember. The writer of Song of Songs (in chapter 2 verse 14) poetically describes an invitation to come out from behind our rocks so that God may see and hear us. Something God loves. He made us and cherishes us and calls us his children. (Have a look at 1 John 3 verse 1) And it’s a lifelong quest to find that solid ground of knowing who we are in him. Knowing that success and failure, as Rudyard Kipling once wrote, are both imposters. We find our true worth in the constant love and welcome and knowledge of God. We will perhaps, spend our days hankering after worldly fame and fortune, but it’s worth remembering that so many who found such things did not find a sure foundation. We will rise and fall like that choppy sea, no doubt about that, but those words of Jesus resonate in every storm and every desert, ‘Come to me when life weighs heavy and feels like a crushing, demanding burden, and you will find rest and purpose, for my ways are good and life-giving.’  Matthew 11 verse 28-30.

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